Church of England Diocese of Chester Lostock Gralam

Reflection Sunday after Easter

Reflection for the Second Sunday of Easter

“What a God we have! And how fortunate we are to have him, this Father of our Master Jesus! Because Jesus was raised from the dead, we’ve been given a brand-new life and have everything to live for, including a future in heaven—and the future starts now! God is keeping careful watch over us and the future. The Day is coming when you’ll have it all—life healed and whole.” 1 Peter 1: 3-5

This reading from Peter’s First Epistle is one of the set readings for this Sunday and I love it’s optimistic and positive exuberance. The guy who wrote this epistle is the same one who denied Jesus three times on the night of the trial before the crucifixion on Good Friday. He is the same guy who rushed to the empty tomb on the first Easter morning and he is the one, who having spent time with the risen Christ, changed from a fisherman and disciple to a proclaimer of the Good News – a man whose life was transformed. And, of course, he was not alone. The emboldened disciples went into the community preaching Christ crucified and Christ risen and eventually this message impacted upon the world. Peter is inspirational.

Of course in the current climate, with Covid-19 rampant and causing so much pain and distress, it might be difficult to embrace the message of having a ‘brand-new life and everything to live for’ but let’s just for a moment focus on one person: Captain Tom Moore who, at the age of ninety-nine (well actually a hundred on April 30th) has walked a hundred laps of his garden and raised over fourteen million pounds (as I write) for the National Health Service. This war veteran is an inspiration, a man who has not wallowed in self-pity but made a determined effort to rise above the current difficulties to engage in a major fund-raising activity which has probably spiralled beyond his original expectations. He has looked beyond his own circumstances and seen a greater vision. I am sure that I echo everyone’s thoughts when I ‘salute’ the resolve of this wonderful gentleman. He is an inspiration to us all.

This leads me on to another news item. There has been some recent research on people’s views related to the pandemic and how they will approach the future. A majority of people have stated that, once we return back to ‘normal’ that their lives will be transformed and that they will have different priorities. People have expressed an awareness of improved community cohesion, a greater regard for the welfare of neighbours and friends. Furthermore, they express a desire that this will remain an important part of society in the future. A majority of people state that their attitude to life will be changed as a result of Covid-19. As I have stated previously, life will never be the same after this.

Covid-19, I am sure will shape our future significantly. Of course, there are all manner of repercussions concerning the economy and its effects on the lives of individuals – increased uncertainty and possible poverty- but if we hold on to the great human values of compassion and love we can, perhaps, transform the world and learn the importance of working together.

The resurrection of Christ transformed the world nearly two thousand years ago. If we are open to the message, I believe that same transformation can be experienced today: in the life of the individual, and in the life of the wider world. I reiterate that. Although our church buildings are closed, the church is very much active and engaged with the task of proclaiming the good news, just as Peter did in his ministry and through the epistle. We are all facing uncertainty, but for those of faith we hold fast to the fact that God loves us and will be with us through the most difficult and challenging times of our lives. But in Jesus Christ we have a brand-new life and everything to live for. May Christ use us as instruments and expressions of his love and comfort and may we demonstrate the same inspirational example as Captain Tom Moore, and most importantly, of Jesus Christ, our Lord and Saviour.

Graham